Busi­nesses call for Metro con­trol board

The Washington Post Sunday - - COMMUTER - — Robert McCart­ney

An in­flu­en­tial District busi­ness group said Metro’s prob­lems have grown so acute that Congress should cre­ate a con­trol board to run the tran­sit agency on an emer­gency ba­sis un­til a new gov­er­nance struc­ture is es­tab­lished.

The pro­posal by the Fed­eral City Coun­cil, whose ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor is former D.C. mayor An­thony A. Wil­liams, re­flects in­ten­si­fy­ing con­cern about Metro’s fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties and what the group sees as re­gional gov­ern­ments’ lack of ur­gency about the need for ac­tion.

In a brief­ing for re­porters about the coun­cil’s pro­posal, Deputy Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Emeka Moneme said a five-mem­ber con­trol board is nec­es­sary be­cause there is no sense of own­er­ship of the tran­sit agency on the Metro board be­cause of the frag­men­ta­tion of lead­er­ship.

The coun­cil pro­poses that Congress force the cre­ation of a tem­po­rary five-mem­ber con­trol board, which would take over from the 16-mem­ber Metro board. The fund­ing struc­ture would re­main the same, which means most of the sub­si­dies for Metro would con­tinue to come from the District, Mary­land and Vir­ginia.

But the con­trol board would be able to rene­go­ti­ate la­bor agree­ments if nec­es­sary, end bad con­tracts, pri­va­tize some op­er­a­tions and give Metro man­age­ment more flex­i­bil­ity in im­prov­ing the sys­tem’s per­for­mance, Moneme said.

It would be pat­terned af­ter the con­trol board cre­ated by Congress in the 1990s, which res­cued the District from a fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.